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Land Nav in a limited area


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#1 ArkansasFan

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 12:05 PM

I've recently bought the ITS navigation starter pack, read back over the ITS nav series, the nice series over at Art of Manliness and even bought a short series on Udemy about nav. I don't find this a difficult topic but interesting particularly when paired with primitive and GPS or high tech navigation.

Having said all of this, I'm a bit stumped. I have to practice on my own in fairly condensed areas so it's not like I can go hide a pin from myself and navigate back to it without merely remembering where it was to start with. There is also little area I can go that will allow navigation of the unknown. I feel like this is best rehearsed in unknown or unfamiliar areas. All that I can think of doing is getting off the trail at a state park, which one isn't supposed to do anyway, and go find a "peak," valley and then find my way back.

Having said all of that, do any of you have any ideas on how to effectively practice?

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#2 EMSWxSAR

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 07:29 PM

The nav course we've setup for our SAR team comprises of stakes driven into the ground in a wooded area.  Each stake has a letter on it.  East to West they are spaced 50m apart.  We have 3 rows South to North.  We give those that are attempting the course a piece of paper with a letter to start from and a bearing.  They then have to indicate what letter they arrive at next and the distance in meters to that location.  They keep following various bearings, notating the letter they arrive at and the distance until they arrive back at row 1.  We have master sheets that we've created with all the distances and what letter is at what bearing from what source point.  Some paths are more difficult than the others (heavy brush, etc).  Really challenging course.  That said, this is a team effort.  We have people out monitoring the participants while they are running the course as well as giving them a safe bearing out.  Practicing individually would be more difficult.  I wouldn't advise going off trail unless you have the knowledge, experience, equipment and mindset to do so.  

 

Something that will help get your navigation skills sharpened would be to find a premade course, like ours, or maybe get into orienteering.

 

http://orienteeringusa.org/


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#3 Guest_thegouldii_*

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 06:30 PM

Not sure what we define as limited area (space / size ?) but if it is limited, try getting out at night and concentrating just on bearings and paces.... my day nav used to suck until I started getting out at night. Just a thought.....


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#4 DStevenson

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 05:22 AM

I totally get what you mean about setting up a course for yourself and not just relying on your memory to find what you need.

In EMSWxSAR's case the course is made by someone else, so the people running the course need to "find" their locations without the advantage of using their memory because they didn't place the objects themselves but it just doesn't help you going at it solo.

 

It does offer a solid idea though by placing numbered spikes or markers (say anywhere between 6-10) randomly throughout a large wooded area and then going back through those locations in a randomly generated order helps to reduce your ability to use your memory to just walk to each spike.

Sure you'll zig zag all over the place but that shouldn't matter as long as you're practicing your navigation skill set.

 

If you want a more serious challenge he is certainly right about getting into orienteering.  All year long here in Michigan we have orienteering competitions and events that would be great to get into either as a solo event or in a group.


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#5 ducttapedave

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Posted 30 April 2017 - 08:59 AM

If you can find an orienteering group in your area I second that plan. I've been looking for one in my area. Land Nav in Saskatchewan is pretty easy, given the flat, open prairie aspect, so keep skills up can be tough. I did just pick up a bunch of topo maps for the country which will make practicing in some of the areas easier. I may have a link to download US topo maps if you're interested.

 

I've found keeping the skill set up alone is difficult. I've been trying to convince my niece and nephew to come learn with me. I've found teaching a great way to sharpen skills up. I think it also helps I spend a good bit of time driving on grid roads for work.


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#6 ArkansasFan

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 06:17 AM

Thanks for the replies. Regarding the orienteering website, a search for Arkansas groups actually lists a group in Louisiana, lol. That's about seven hours away so it really isn't feasible, but thank you.
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#7 jvandivere

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 07:37 AM

I've recently bought the ITS navigation starter pack, read back over the ITS nav series, the nice series over at Art of Manliness and even bought a short series on Udemy about nav. I don't find this a difficult topic but interesting particularly when paired with primitive and GPS or high tech navigation.

Having said all of this, I'm a bit stumped. I have to practice on my own in fairly condensed areas so it's not like I can go hide a pin from myself and navigate back to it without merely remembering where it was to start with. There is also little area I can go that will allow navigation of the unknown. I feel like this is best rehearsed in unknown or unfamiliar areas. All that I can think of doing is getting off the trail at a state park, which one isn't supposed to do anyway, and go find a "peak," valley and then find my way back.

Having said all of that, do any of you have any ideas on how to effectively practice?

check out if there is a cub scout or boyscout group you can do orienteering with or an orienteering competition or Geo caching...It will be a challenge setting up a land nav course for yourself.


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#8 SkutterK

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 12:36 PM

I'm in the same boat, how to effectively practice my LanNav on my own since it's been some time since I've last done it, so I was thinking about just going to the local park and using say the swing set or picnic tables as my destination points to navigate to, just to see if I'm even reading the map and compass correctly, hate to go into the woods to practice and find myself getting even more lost, lol, but I don't know, maybe this isn't the best method of practice but was just a thought I had.

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